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re:Virals 64

Welcome to re:Virals, The Haiku Foundation’s weekly poem commentary feature on some of the finest haiku ever written in English. This week’s poem was

     in the prison graveyard
     just as he was in life —
     convict 14302
          — Johnny Baranski, Convicts Shoots the Breeze (Saki Press, 2002)

Mojde Marvast conflates what limits us:

Thoughtful! Grave!
Is a grave a prison?
If so no matter where the graveyard is, I am the imprisoned.
I would say the graveyard is my own body with the stubborn, zealous and rigid mindset — a label and a number — against the flow of life.


As this week’s winner, Mojde gets to choose next week’s poem, which you’ll find below. We invite you to write a commentary to it. It may be as long or short, academic or spontaneous, serious or silly, public or personal as you like. We will select out-takes from the best of these. And the very best will be reproduced in its entirety and take its place as part of the THF Archives. Best of all, the winning commentator gets to choose the next poem for commentary.

Anyone can participate. A new poem will appear each Friday morning. Simply put your commentary in the Contact box by the following Tuesday midnight (Eastern US Time Zone). Please use the subject header “re:Virals” so we know what we’re looking at. We look forward to seeing some of your favorite poems — and finding out why!

re:Virals 64:

     by weeds
     the road not taken
          — Carlos Colón, Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years (W. W. Norton, 2013)
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